Did you know the government offers a grant of up to €2500 that is designed to help Irish businesses trade online? Taking sales online can be a confusing process and this grant aims to help SME’s all over Ireland navigate these tricky waters. With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of Irish businesses are involved in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales directly through their website.
For businesses employing less than ten people, this percentage could be even lower. It is now widely believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that over 70% of these are done in overseas markets. Irish businesses are being left behind in these numbers and in particular, those who are trying to further develop their business and compete against large overseas rivals.
This grant is aimed at reducing this number and helping small businesses get online, get trading and give them a new sales channel they previously ignored. It will also help consumers support Irish businesses and home-grown talent.
Cutting the cost of developing your online trading capacity by up to 50% can make the investment very affordable for many small businesses out there.
To qualify for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, businesses must have:
• no more than 10 employees;
• less than €2m in turnover;
• be trading for at least 6 months and
• be located in the region of the local enterprise office to whom they are applying.
It is important that Irish businesses all over the country recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to correctly respond to this digital reality. Moving their sales to an online platform will allow them to grow organically. Businesses that participated in the scheme reported that, on average they saw their sales increase by 20%, with an 80% jump in sales leads and 3 in 5 exporting for the first time.
For many businesses, the question is not whether to trade online, it’s how to start. Your competitors could well be on their way to implementing an eCommerce solution so it should be high on your agenda for the end of 2019 and for the first quarter of 2020.
I recommend you get in touch with your Local Enterprise Office and if you have any questions we would also be glad to help you move from a standard website to a full eCommerce solution that allows you to easily sell your products/services online in a safe and secure way.